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Australia must re-invest in Ebola-affected region

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 21 Apr 2015

Australian Greens health spokesperson and public health specialist, Dr Richard Di Natale, said today that while the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has stabilised, Australia should not be reducing our contribution to the area.

“Every cent recouped from Australia’s contribution to the Aspen Medical treatment centre in Sierra Leone should be reinvested in the region,” said Senator Di Natale.

“While the Ebola outbreak has stabilised, much more needs to be done to eradicate the disease. As we move into the post-acute phase of the outbreak, Australia’s contribution must be repurposed to support the necessary next steps in the fight, such as contact tracing and outreach.

“Beyond the immediate public health needs, the region needs assistance as it recovers from the devastation of Ebola.

“When I visited the Sierra Leone and Liberia at the peak of the crisis I saw first-hand how the disease wreaked havoc on the foundations of their societies. Their schools, health systems and broader economies were on the brink of collapse.

“Australia’s contribution to the fight against Ebola was slow and modest. The last thing Australia should do now is withdraw the funding we promised and walk away from a region that needs to rebuild.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600

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